This is going to be the shortest recipe ever. So easy, almost a no-brainer really, I could just list the 3 ingredients and anyone can figure it out what to do with them.
As you might know, Bobcat is a really fussy eater, he still doesn’t eat any fresh fruits and vegetables at all. (He’s 3 years old. When will this change?) Anyway, the only way to make him eat some is trying to smuggle them into something he likes. Like ice cream. All kids like ice lollies. These easy-peasy healthy ice pops are so delicious that they won’t even notice a little bit of kale hiding in there, with all its fabulous natural vitamin C.
We normally have everything at home to make these, as I often use Waitrose frozen smoothie mixes for his snacks. (I’m a master of veggie -smuggling you see) We have two favourites: kale-mango-kiwi and berries-beetroot-carrot. But it can be any mix of favourite fruits and veggies really.
So grab about
4 handfuls of frozen fruits and veggies
4 tablespoons of greek yogurt and
2 tablespoons of honey.
I used half and half of my favourite smoothie mixes to create 6 different coloured lollies.
All you need to do is just blend the fruits with the honey using your mixer (you can let the frozen fruits sit a little bit before that, so they won’t be too icy) and fold the yogurt in. Add a splash of water, around 50-60 ml in the end and pour your mixture into the moulds. Put it in the freezer for 3 hours.
you need the water to make your mixture freeze better because the yogurt is too creamy. Water makes the proper ice lolly.
hold the mould under hot running water for 15-20 seconds to make it easier to get the ice pops out of the mould.
use quality moulds with a strong, firm handle.
you can use a different sweetener or none at all!
before serving them, you can dip them into melted chocolate- real treat!
Lately, the two littlest in our household started to lead a lifestyle of a hoarder. They not only receive a lot of gifts (a lot of times without any specific reason or special occasion) but they also collect junklike stuff they want to keep and play with. Like colourful empty bottles, tissue paper, ribbons, etc. My eldest even steals things from the nursery, I keep finding random little objects in his pockets when we get home. We still have the top of his wardrobe full of unopened presents from his birthday. Untouched Kinder surprise eggs hiding in the kitchen which he keeps getting from the grandparents by the box of 5 (!!!). It takes a lot of effort from us to make our lovely folks to understand that they simply have to stop buying too much stuff for the children. We look like really mean parents! But, they don’t need (and they are definitely not going to get) a surprise egg every day. We are running out of space to store toys they are not playing with. Lots of them break or stop working within a few weeks or months and end up in landfill. So I decided to declutter. And declutter regularly.
These are my reasons, but if this isn’t enough reason to declutter and cut down on impulse buys, here’s some more:
1. Encouraging innovative thinking
They simply have to invent plays and games to entertain themselves. For children, this supposed to be a natural way of discovering the world and part of their development. Like using empty food cartons and boxes to create a shop instead of buying a miniature plastic toy shop set. (With 120 pieces.) Or make some. Just use a real jute bag when they go pretend play shopping. Use carton boxes and build a car. They will soon start to change their way of thinking and play with what’s available. 2. Learning to ask for permission
Naturally, some things are forbidden and they are not toys. Some things they should never touch. They will learn sooner what objects in the household are not allowed to play with and what are they used for.
4. Becoming more creative
Going hand in hand with innovative thinking, it enables children to make use of things. Use that tissue paper collection to cover the racing car made of an empty cardboard box. Cut out numbers of paper. The car also needs wheels, lamps, a car key maybe?
5. Playing independently
They engage better with the fewer toys they have. The experience is talking over here. Not long ago, my firstborn always wanted to play with the IPad. (We use IPad strategically, and he gets a half an hour here and there, 2-3x a week.) He was BORED. Wondering around, trying to figure it out what to play with, picked some toy up, played with that for a minute or two, then wandering around again aimlessly. So we put two-third of the toys away. All of a sudden the remaining toys became interesting. Why? Because:
6. Too much stuff causes stress
Not just in children, it effects everyone. I personally feel very anxious when the mess is bigger what I than I can tolerate and things are not at their normal place or not being put away. So, when my little boy becomes anxious he starts to run around, from wall to wall in the hall, sometimes for 10-15 minutes till he gets very tired. This is how he copes with overstimulation and anxiety. Nowadays, this happens a lot less since we’re doing conscious efforts to declutter regularly, he’s a calmer and more cooperative too.
7. Less toys teaches the idea of sharing and taking turns
Sharing is an important milestone in social communication and the one which parents find quite frustrating whilst learning is still in progress. At every play date, every time at the soft play or on the play ground all you can hear is “Share, sweetheart, share please!” Teaching taking turns and sharing becomes easier when they have less toys. Also, they will be less selfish. A child, who gets everything on a silver plate believes it’s just natural and soon starts to have demands, often not reasonable ones.
8. Encourage imaginative play
For parents like me, this is an important issue. My eldest has never been great at imaginative play, he still needs lots of help to get started. Imaginative play is a key milestone in a child’s development. With all the talking, music making, interactive toys there’s little room left for the imagination to fly. If they have difficulties to get to use their imagination, like my boy, we have found it’s a good idea to play stories from their favourite books. Creating our very own mini theatre.
9. Consume less and consciously
Buying less and carefully select a few toys only means buying less rubbish which will be thrown away in no time. It saves money, tears, and teaches them to choose wisely. It’s a greener approach. It teaches them patience and that it’s worth waiting for something. I remember how long I waited for my first Barbie doll, how much I wanted to have one and how long I cherished and looked after the first one I got. I want my children to have a sweet memory like that.
10. Less tidying up
Bonus. How much time do you spend with tidying up? How about adding to that all the time you spend arguing and negotiating with your children about it? Yep. Thought so. This can be also saved by downsizing the toy arsenal. The children would be more willing to tidy up as the result is within an easier reach.
Maybe some more can be added to the list, did I miss something? Please leave a comment.
I love making gift guides for special loved ones featuring my new favourite finds. I especially like it when a product or idea combines art with ethical standards. When Wraptious contacted me to review one of their product and their site, I didn’t know too much about them. Wraptious sells award-winning gift items supporting artists. The first thing I came across, was their competition they run twice a year. They invite artists to join them and upload their work which gets shared and voted on by the public. This year’s shortlist has been already selected and the shorlisted artists’ designs are available in their online store. Wraptious currently works with more than thirty artists: painters, illustrators, photographers and designers. The artist community is expanding, thanks to the competition too.
What really makes Wraptious ethical in my eyes is their manifesto, which is promoting independent art. Directly supporting their artists, who receive a share of each sale. Yes, this means, a percentage of each sale goes directly into the artist’s pocket. The best way to support independent art: buy it. Also, all their products are produced in the UK and on recycled or sustainable resources where possible.
Learning all this, I was really looking forward receiving my cushion I picked from their collection. It was hard to pick, but I chose a cushion designed by Paul Robbins:
Take a look at the details, such a lovely piece!
Though Wraptious has a lovely selection of cushion designs, I fell in love with this one for the first sight. I love the yellow background highlighting all the hypnotisingly beautiful colours of the bear’s head. The colours are strikingly vivid, I have used no filter on the photo above. This cushion is available in two sizes: 45 cm x 45 cm and 60 cm x 60 cm. The cover is made of super soft and velvety vegan-suede.
The same design is also available printed on gallery-quality original print, in case you’d like to coordinate or highlight them.
My top tip: grab 2-3 pieces of quality art products from the same artist to turn a simple room into a stylish living space. Given the affordable prices what Wraptious provides, it’s easily doable.
Prices start at £22.95 (cover only).
I received this product to review it and publish my honest, unbiased opinion.
This is such an easy and yummy snack to make, that even small kids could help. Bobcat loved being in charge of the rolling-pin and sprinkling the sesame seed. All over the place. And eating raw dough of course. (Who did not like that as a kid. Or even as a grown up.) These cheesy bites are great for parties, for the lunchbox, or as an afternoon snack. The resting seems long, but it’s absolutely necessary. They freeze well (whilst still raw), so it worth to make an extra portion for unexpected guests, or for a busy day and double the measurements. They go quickly anyway!
500g all purpose flour or pastry flour
250g unsalted butter (cold, straight from the fridge)
200g sour cream (room temperature)
3 egg yolks (2 for the dough + 1 for brushing)
100g grated cheese (cheddar or similar)
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
8g quick yeast
sesame seed for decoration
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Cube the butter and with your hands, rub it into the flour. Warm the milk A little bit and add it to the mixing bowl along with the sugar, the yeast and the salt. Mix the eggs with the sour cream and add the mixture to the bowl. Knead a neat dough ball, combining everything well, cover it and put in the fridge to rest for an hour.
Cover a baking tray with baking paper and preheat oven to 200C. Sprinkle some flour on a wooden board before rolling out the dough, to 1,5-2 cm thickness. Cut about 3×3 cm little squares, place them on the baking sheet, brush them with the egg yolk (into which you can add half a teaspoon of sweet ground paprika for a bit of an extra colour) and sprinkle with sesame seed. Bake them for 20-35 minutes.
We have visited the Watercress Line a couple of times already as both daddy and son are big train enthusiasts. However, we never attended a Meet Thomas Day.
For those whose never been there, the Watercress Line is located in Alresford, Hampshire. It’s a heritage railway which was saved by enthusiastic volunteers in 1973, and Watercress Line was re-open as a tourist attraction four years later. A 10 mile line is operating currently with steam locomotives between Alresford and Alton. They regularly do Meet Thomas The Tank Engine days, in every few months.
Visiting the Watercress Line is great fun every time, we especially like stopping at Ropley, where all the engineering works are being done, and can be watched too. Fascinating for train enthusiasts. There’s a playground for small children (I’d say from 3 years up) and picnic area. Snacks and drinks are also available in the station gift shop. The King’s Cross bridge from one of the Harry Potter episode is moved down to Ropley, so even Harry Potter fans will find something exciting.
Visiting the restored ticket office and the station masters lounge makes you feel, that you stepped back in time. Even the toilets are made to look vintage. Another times we also stop at Medstead and go for a picturesque walk to Alton, visiting the Jane Austen House in Chawton village.
This April we booked tickets (£18 for adults and £12 for children) to see Bobcat’s favourite character Thomas The Tank Engine. We arrived early to make the most of the day, as you’re entitled to unlimited travel on the day, so we stopped at every station, marvelled the engineering works, watched the character trains pulling into Ropley station. The trains were running up and down between the stations in every half an hour.
We went for a few rides on the miniature train, which was one of the top favourites of the day. We packed lunch and had picnic, whilst the little guy spent some time on the playground and went for teacup rides – he was way too excited to eat. Outside of the station we even met with Bertie the bus, his second favourite character from the show. Apart from Thomas, some other tank engines are present (don’t ask me names, all I know that, they all have a name and a number) and running between the stations. He also shook the Fat Controller’s hand – the organisers really paid attention to the smallest details.
There was a tent with story corner where they did daily story time and DVD shows. Also some tables and chairs with Thomas themed coloring sheets and play sets. Bobcat received a certificate and some Thomas stickers too. The only thing we didn’t try was the big bouncy slide, it said from 3 years+, but Bobcat was too small for that, we thought. But he didn’t mind, he was perfectly happy with all the other fun things. Naturally, fell asleep on the way home and had an unusual long nap which resulted him bouncing around till 11pm that night. Oh well.
I have arrived late to the whole parenting blogging scene, probably around 10 years too late. But I don’t really mind, as I started to blog to keep my brain busy between trips to the playground and trying to feed my picky eater. So I started to write about our travels with our little son, share my favourite vegetarian recipes and review some products. I also thought, since I might need to abandon my profession (pre pregnancy I worked for hotels as a revenue manager) as I won’t be able to fit it around the children, might as well try to learn new skills, make some extra money and use it as a reference when I’m ready to return to the professional world.
The more I’ve learned, the clearer it became, that nowadays, producing quality articles is just simply not enough. Meaning, if you decide to monetise your blog, being a good writer with an interesting perspective isn’t enough. Bots can write blog articles.
So here’s the 5 thing I’ve learned about blogging :
1. Social media is everything. I’m getting so much more interactions through my social media outlets, than through my blog. Also, sharing not only MY blog posts, but interesting articles from other bloggers which I liked, some lighthearted videos for a good laugh and news about things I care about – several times a day – is very important. So is interacting with my followers.
2. You need a blogger tribe. I’m a mummy blogger and I follow and interact a lot with other parent bloggers. And some ethical and vegetarian food bloggers. I’ve learnt a lot from them and they are a fun virtual company. Bloggers – this is no secret – also support each other, by joining in linkys and commenting pods, following each other’s back, which helps to grow both party’s network and numbers. Yes, it’s a bit of cheating when it comes to strict Google Analysis results and domain authority figures, but it’s allowed. It’s essentially basic economics: when everyone helps, everyone grows. Downside? Yes, it can take your life over. All the chats, commenting, linking, liking, following etc. takes huge amount of time. (So does social media appearance!)
3. Signing up for newsletters are overrated. Just don’t push them on your readers. Did you sign up for something because of an annoying pop up saying to do so? No, me neither. Well, that’s what I think. I don’t follow any blog and I have very few followers. But I do read a lot of blog articles – just not every article of a single blogger. I already receive so many emails on a daily basis (and delete without opening them) , I don’t want more.
4. Niche stands out. This is not news. Since all the top places are taken in general parental blogging. Scarymommy, anyone? She (khm, the content writers) mainly shares other bloggers’ posts and lots of funny and emotionally moving articles and motivational qoutes. It’s a great site, I read it when I come across something, but I miss the personal touch. To make decent numbers (not big ones) you really have to stand out, in my opinion. Which means, you have to provide something which is not necessarily for everyone.
5. People want personal stuff. You have to be really personal and you have to let the whole world into your life. I’m not sure if I want that. I prefer blogs with a strong, personal voice in a niche, which interests me. (Like living eco friendly as a family. Interesting vegetarian recipes – kept short. Just post the ingredients and a photo of the dish for me please.) But, at the same time, I don’t want to dive deep into other people’s life. I enjoy reading a well penned, emotionally moving read, but I find that, lots of bloggers only produce (sometimes meaningless) personal contents to keep up with the trend and produce 4-5 articles a week. Sort of “to my son, on your 2.7 birthday” if you know what I mean. Maybe that’s why I’m never going to be a successful blogger. I feel that, it’s cheating. But, maybe i’m wrong, and that’s what other people really want to read about.
THE FUTURE: Vlogging is the new blogging. (With YouTube already have lost its kingdom, as all social media platfors provide a tool for that too.) Is it because you can absorb information faster? More information? Is it because we’re getting lazy? Reading takes more time and effort? Is it down to the digital generation? I don’t know. But many bloggers started to successfully merge blogging and vlogging. I see more people starting blogs too. To express themselves, to fight loneliness, to share knowledge. And that’s great, blogging helps making new friendships, learn new skills, sell skills and products, influence others and more. But it will be harder and harder to grow as Google puts little blogs against the big brands, so it is increasingly hard to reach decent authority. On the other hand, lots of blogs are not getting too much traffic from Google anyway (because they engage well on social media), so it doesn’t really matter in the end.
As for me, I would probably never venture into the vlogging fields. I never watch videos, they annoy me – especially the automatically playing ones on Facebook. Let me decide if I want to watch this please.
In most Eastern-European countries, stew is everything. Hungary, where I’m from, is no different, we have all sorts of stews including goulash, which Hungarians eat as a soup. I know, we’re weird. The cuisine is of course heavy in meat dishes. Luckily, a lot of meat based dishes can be turned into a lovely vegetarian meal quite easily. My mum used to make a great mushroom stew, but it can be a little bit bland for some tastes. So I spiced it up a little bit and decided to serve it with home made gnocchi (dead easy, don’t get scared!) instead of the traditional Hungarian pasta pearls. (That is something I don’t have the time and the patience to make.)
Although the word “stew” somehow indicates that it’s heavy and fulfilling, this dish is lovely both in summer and in winter, not heavy at all. Well, as long as you can resist eating too much gnocchi, which I find very hard! I’m all for pasta and bread. Requires about an hour of your time to prepare this yummy dish.
For the spicy mushroom stew
250g chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced
250g portobellini mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 onion, chopped finely
100ml wine (of any kind)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
200g creme fraiche
3 heaped tbsp of full fat greek yogurt
3 tbsp of olive oil
2 handfuls of fresh, chopped parsley
2 tsp of lazy chilli or chilly flakes
2 tbsp of ground, sweet paprika
1 tbsp of flour
For the gnocchi:
2 large potatoes (you’ll need 250g cooked, mashed potatoes), diced
250g plain flour
No need to add water as the mushroom will produce some liquid when cooking.
Caramelise the onion on the oil for 15 minutes using low heat. Let them turn golden brown. Use a large pan. This will allow you to make a creamier, tastier sauce. Add the paprika, the chilli and the wine. Cook it for 5 minutes. Add the vegetables, simmer for 5 minutes, then comes the parsley in. Cover it and cook it for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the creme fraiche, the yogurt and the flour, then add the mixture to the mushroom stew, bring it to boil. Reduce heat and cook it for a further 10 minutes.
To prepare the gnocchi, cook 2 large potatoes until they are cooked, but still a bit firm, approximately 10 minutes when diced. Mash them with a fork, let it cool and measure 250g of mashed potatoes. Add the flour and the egg and combine well using your hands, forming a bread like dough.
(For the future: all you have to remember is the measurements: 250-250-1. Easy.)
Divide your dough into 3-4 portions and form snakes of approximately 1.5cm diameter of each dough ball. Keep dusting with some extra flour to avoid stickiness. Cut them into 2-2.5cm diameter pieces.
Bring the water boil in a large pan, add your gnocchi and cook them for 3 minutes or until they start to rise to the top. Drain them and all done.
We have a growing local mummy network where I live and we have a Whatsapp group to support each other, make friends and ask for advice or recommendations. Our chat tends to revolve around a few categories:
1. Baby poo
2. Can anyone recommend a gardener/carpenter/nanny/tutor/yoga-class/cleaner/mobile beautician
3. When is the next mummy night out
4. Chicken pox
5. Random voice messages recorded and posted by the children when they get their hands on mummy’s phone
6. Breastfeeding support
So asking for recommendations is frequent thing, but the recommended person or company is often not available or is simply not the right one for you. And it’s always the best to shop around. For example, I’m on the look out for a proper Hatha yoga class. Now, I’m sure that Jenny’s bestie is a great trainer, but she teaches Bikram yoga, which is not what I want. So, thanks for the recommendation, but it’s not very useful.
I was introduced to Bidvine.com recently and I started to browse for local Yoga-lessons because I want to do yoga in a small class, with a trainer again. At home, exercising became impossible with having both children around me most of the time. The only way is to get daddy or grandma to look after them for two hours whilst I’m out. Also, I always preferred classes with a good trainer rather than just do it by myself.
To submit a request is easy: all you need to do is to type the requested service and your postcode in, and then answer a few service specific questions to make sure that you’re getting a bespoke bid, tailored for your needs. Then, within a few hours you’ll receive bids from trusted local professionals and you just have to pick one, contact them, and pay them directly. Easy-peasy.
On Bidvine.com, you can hire a trusted professionals like: plumbers, electricians, handymen, all sorts of teachers and tutors, fitness and health trainers, cleaners, even wedding and event organisers.
It’s very useful for busy people (busy mums!) because the bids arrive in a matter of few hours, and you can trust the service provider, you don’t need to double check it. You’ll only receive bids from the available professional, so you don’t need to change your plans.
What I really liked about the website is that it covers the whole of the UK and that also offers you some related services too. (Are you moving? Do you need a man with a van? You might need someone who helps assembling the furniture too.)
This is a sponsored post. I have written about my own, unbiased review of my experience and I can highly recommend Bidvine.com.
These are just perfect to make on a rainy afternoon, and eat them all up whilst they are still lovely and warm. I have a very picky toddler and seems like my baby girl is following her big brother’s footsteps. Lucky me. Not. I was hoping that at least one child of mine will eat properly. Nope, I can keep envying other parents with their small children eating raw carrot stick and steamed broccoli, but non mines. Anyway, that is why I try to smuggle some extra healthy ingredients into their dishes and also hoping that they will venture beyond the usual tastes and textures.
Muffins, both sweet and savoury are usually big hits in our house. I normally need to avoid whole pieces of vegetables being visible and use lots of cheese, for the savoury muffins to get green light. This recipe meets both criteria. Also contains more of the “friendly” veggie (butternut squash) and less of the “unfriendly” one (broccoli). Great for snack or even as a lazy main meal with some more cheese or healthy spreads like hummus.
Tip: by adding lots of fresh rosemary instead of chives, these muffins can be turned into more of a grownup’s snack.
Yield: 12 muffins
250g plain flour
100g butternut squash diced
80g broccoli (4-5 small florets)
1,5 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp baking powder
50g butter melted
100g feta cheese crumbled roughly
half a tsp salt
1 tbsp of chopped chives
some grated cheddar to sprinkle on the top (optional)
Steam the vegetables until they’re tender. With a hand mixer, blend the butternut squash into a smooth paste. I guess it could work with just mashing it with a fork. As a smooth paste, it adds some extra liquid to your batter (so does the broccoli). After this, I normally just add everything one by one in no particular order and just mix it quickly (with a wooden spoon, by hand).
Preheat oven to 160C. I found that because of vegetables, they bake a bit slower than without them, but they can burn just as easily. Therefore, it’s better to keep it around 160C instead of 180C. So the baking time is slightly longer than with normal muffins: 12-14 minutes.
They are lovely warm or cold, or even reheated in the oven.
I love Vienna. It has been voted to the most liveable city of the world for a reason. I’ve visited plenty of times, however, never with my children until a few weeks ago. Naturally, this time it was a completely different experience, just as we did expect it to be. Not so much of Aperol-Spritzing and Museum Quartier visiting. You can’t just drag your young children along whilst visiting galleries, markets and trendy restaurants. If you plan ahead though, everyone can get something of what they wanted. City tripping with a toddler and a baby sounds challenging but it it’s not impossible!
Start with booking the right accommodation. We stayed in serviced apartments this time, because we knew that we won’t be able to eat out in the evenings. That is one thing we needed to give up. Keeping their usual bedtime routine meant, that they were able to cope a lot better, it’s something they are both (all of us, in fact) heavily rely on. We also needed space, which an average hotel room just doesn’t provides. (The hotelier inside me is gasping in horror now.) So we booked Anyna Apartments, which was OK (price-wise and staff -wise good, but with some small security and other issues) and close to transport links, near a big park with playgrounds and supermarkets.
When the weather is nice, then of course there’s plenty to do. But when it’s raining or it’s too cold outside it can be a bit tricky to entertain small children. So, my list contains a mix of indoor and outdoor activities. However, avoid traveling in winter, as lots of outdoor attractions are closed. Also better to avoid places like Nashmarkt. Whilst it’s one of Vienna’s famous attractions and it’s great fun as a grown up, it’s most definitely no fun as as a parent of small children. It’s very busy, there are a lot of hot food stations, smokers and things to grab from the stalls. (Yes, the experience is talking.)
One if the oldest amusement parks in the world offers a lot of fun small rides for the minis. If they can’t ride on their own, because they are too young, parents can accompany them. There’s no entry fee to the Prater, you just need to pay for the rides (cash only). Plenty of options for food, from small kiosk-type street food to a proper restaurant. Open from March till October. The mini rides are relatively cheap: cost between EUR 2-4 each.
Vienna has lots of playgrounds, they are all very clean and well maintained, most of them has small swings, slides and sand pits for the littlest.
3. Zoom Children’s Museum
Zoom is quite big, suitable for children of all age. For the minis (8 months to 6 years) particularly, it has a play and adventure area called The Ocean, with a glittering water grotto, a mirror tunnel and a coral reel with tickly anemones. They can explore a ship deck and play role games, untie knots, turn the ship’s wheel or communicate with the lighthouse. Entry fee: EUR 3 for a child (free admission for one adult per child); extra adults pay EUR 5.
4. Hop-On Hop-Off Bus
Sitting on the top deck of the bus when the weather is sunny and pointing to all the exciting things to see is great fun for small children. (They are also prepared for the bad weather with a cover.) There are 6 routes and 50 stops. From EUR 22.50 per person.
5. Cake Time!
No Vienna experience is complete without a cafe house visit. And that means: it’s time for a cake! The traditional cafe houses are not exactly children friendly and booking is always required. Also, at some places smoking is still allowed (Austrians love their cigarettes.) and normally a separate room is dedicated to that, but obviously you can smell the smoke all over the cafe. However, places like Aida and Oberlaa are more relaxed and welcoming towards children. (No smoking is allowed at all, either.)
6. Schoenbrunn Zoo
Schoenbrunn Zoo is considered one of the best zoos in the world. The animal compounds have a decent sized living area and designed to imitate their natural habitat as much as possible. More than 700 kinds of animal live in the zoo. It’s a fun place for small and big children. There’s also a huge nature trail and an educational forest trail, which I really liked. Unfortunately, not too many options for buying food and drink once inside the zoo in April when we visited, more in summertime. The little train wasn’t operating either, which was a shame as my little boy is a huge fan of trains. Entry fee is EUR 18.50 for adults, free for children under 6.
7. Schoenbrunn Maze And Labyrinthikon Playground
Bobcat really liked both the maze and the playground. And watching the fantastic water fountain. We enjoyed a lovely walk in the palace park. The playground is really cool and it has unusual elements as well as classic toys: climbing poles with sounds, jumping station, puzzles and water gargoyles. He especially liked the water features and marvelled the huge eagle-shaped climbing frame, but he was too small to climb that. But there was plenty of other things for smaller children, so we spent a few hours there. Open from April till November. Entry fee: EUR 5.50 for adults and EUR 3.20 for children.
8. Family Fun
It’s a huge amusement park for children, with a section called Kiddyworld, where even the smallest kids can enjoy themselves too. There’s trampolines, ball pools, a magic climbing tree, and some more. I’d say it’s probably from 1 year up, depending on the child’s capabilities. The toddlers will love it. Entry fees: under 1’s go free, 1-3 year olds EUR 3.90, 3-16 year olds EUR 8.90, adults EUR 3.50
9. Riding An Old Tram
Simply 🙂 Very old, vintage trams are still in every day use in Vienna. Some of them are more than 50-60 years old with wooden benches. They are one of the coolest things to see, so don’t miss our on a Ring-ride, especially if you have a transport and vehicle maniac 3 years old, like us. Just buy a ticket and complete a whole Ring loop, it’s really good fun.
10. Bogi Park
It’s a huge indoor playground for children aged between 1 and 12. Again, I’m sure even some active babies can enjoy it, and recently they started to do Baby Mondays. For very small children, they have bouncy castles, slides, ball pools, small climbing installations. Entry fees: under 1’s go free, 1-3 year olds EUR 3.50, 3-16 year olds EUR 8.90, adults EUR 4
11. Donau Insel
The Danube Island is very popular amongst the locals, there’s so much to see and do for the whole family! There’s a family beach, which is protected by a number of small islands surrounding the beach and the water no more than one meter deep. Absolutely fantastic in summertime. There’s also a free water playground with a separate splashing area for under 3’s and a trampoline center. Free entry.
12. Horse carriege ride (fiaker)
One of the tourists favourites, an absolute must do. The children loved it, it’s a leisurely ride (really slow, very safe with being small children on board) around the historic inner city area. You can find them parking all around the old town, just hop on one. It’s normally a half an hour and prices vary, around EUR 50.
13. Cobenzl City Farm
Meet and get to know the farm animals at a working farm producing organic goods. You’ve got pony rides, a nature trail and yummy cakes to buy. Entry fee: EUR 18 for kids and EUR 28 for adults.
14. Danube Boat Tour
The shortest tour takes around 1.5 hours, it’s a lovely, cultured thing to sit on the top deck in the sunshine. Waiving to the other boats and to people strolling at the river bank, it’s a relaxing cruise on the river. It’s operating from April till October (with the heating on when needed). There’s also a restaurant or bar on all the cruise ships. Prices vary.
15. Inner City Parks
When everything fails, just let them run around in a lovely, well manicured, safe park. There are plenty of them: the Stadtpark, the Volksgarten, the Burggarten, the Sigmund Freud Park and more.